Publication Date

October 1, 2011

Perspectives Section


The Oral History Association (OHA), the principal organization of practicing oral historians in the United States, is seeking a new home for its executive office and staff beginning in 2013. It also plans to hire an executive director to serve as its principal administrator after its new institutional home is determined.

Institutions interested in hosting the OHA's offices are invited to send an initial expression of interest to the OHA by November 1, 2011. Selected institutions will be invited to submit a full proposal, due no later than March 1, 2012. A final decision is expected by May 2012.

The OHA will also initiate a search for the executive director during the spring/summer of 2012 after a suitable location for the office has been determined. Appropriate personnel from the host institution will be invited to participate in this search, and applicants affiliated with that institution will be welcome to apply. Our aim is to select the executive director by October 2012.


A formal association since 1966, the OHA enjoys a national and international reputation as a leader in the field of oral history. Governed by an eight-member executive council, the OHA has more than 600 individual members from a variety of disciplines and professional fields; and 250 institutional members, including university programs and centers, libraries and archives, museums, historical societies, and community-based projects. Each fall it hosts its annual meeting with an average participation of 500. The OHA publishes a triannual Newsletter and sponsors the journal Oral History Review (OHR), the principal journal of the oral history field. Published by Oxford University Press, the OHR editorial offices are located in and supported by the University of San Francisco and the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Since 1998 the OHA executive offices have been hosted by Dickinson College and its operations overseen by an executive secretary (currently Madelyn Campbell). With the expiration of our contract with Dickinson and Campbell's retirement, the OHA is seeking to strengthen its national office and advance new initiatives in the field by hiring an executive director, who will be assisted by additional staff.

Letter of Interest

Initial expressions of interest, due November 1, 2011, should include a preliminary explanation of how OHA's presence would benefit the institution, as well as a description of the resources, facilities, personnel, programs, relationships, and other factors that would make the institution an outstanding home. While the OHA is open to considering a variety of institutional arrangements, it does expect a significant commitment of institutional resources to the executive office and staff. Guidance for prospective applicants (a fact sheet and details about the proposal) and additional information on the OHA are available on its web site,

The letter of interest should be sent as an attachment to: with “Letter of Interest” in the Subject line.

Questions regarding these issues may be directed to the Transition Committee co-chairs, Rina Benmayor ( or Linda Shopes (

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